Show Me the Mission

Show Me the Mission

Angie Chaplin, M.A., C.P.B.A

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  1. Model the Way by demonstrating how an organizations services align with its values.
  2. Inspire a Shared Vision by "selling" the organizations mission, values and services.
  3. Challenge the Process by looking beyond current realities to see innovative possibilities.

Audience:   12 to no more than 24

Time Required:   60 minutes

Materials Needed/Setup:

  • flipcharts
  • easel
  • markers


  1. Tell participants they have the chance to create a new nonprofit organization with funding from a generous $1 million grant awarded by Jim Kouzes & Barry Posner.
  2. Because Jim & Barry can choose only one organization to fund, competition is fierce. The benefactors have asked all finalists to prepare 5-minute presentations to pitch their proposed organizations to Jim and Barry and their advisory council, who will base their decision on how well the mission, values, and services align with and demonstrate The Five Practices.
  3. Working in teams of 3-5 people, participants have 30 minutes to prepare a 5-minute oral presentation that includes the following details:
    • name of the organization
    • mission
    • core values
    • logo
    • segment of the population that will benefit (e.g., at-risk youth, homeless women, children in foster care, adjudicated delinquents)
    • specific services the organization will deliver
    • names of 9 well-known leaders or celebrities who will serve as the inaugural board of directors, and why their involvement brings credibility
  4. Teams may use flipcharts, markers, additional materials (if supplied) to enhance their presentation.
  5. When not presenting, participants serve as Jim and Barry's advisory council members.

At the conclusion of all the presentations, ask for a vote by secret ballot (one may not vote for his/her own group) of which organization should be awarded the funds.

Note: This Tips & Techniques exercise has been adapted from "Phictional Philanthropy" in The Big Book of Leadership Games by Vasudha K. Deming.

Angie Chaplin, M.A., C.P.B.A., is a certified facilitator of The Leadership Challenge and Director, Center for Learning & Leading at Lutheran Services in Iowa. She can be reached at


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